Retailers have the opportunity to tailor their mobile apps to meet the needs of different shopper segments, according to Nancy Childs, a professor of food marketing at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Childs, who is studying grocery apps as the focus of her Gerald E. Peck Fellowship at St. Joseph’s, was scheduled to present the second phase of her research on the topic on June 11 at FMI Connect.

“We are finding out that segmentation really matters,” she told SN in an interview previewing her presentation. “And if you want to be savvy in reaching out to specific segments of your shoppers, there are different things you can offer them.”

Childs based her research on a detailed consumer survey of 657 grocery shoppers who have mobile phones and are familiar with apps. She segmented those shoppers based on the DigitalLink shopper profiles identified by Chicago-based Information Resources Inc., and was able to correlate certain app preferences with specific types of shoppers.

“Everybody wants the basic stuff — coupons, help making a shopping list, can you offer me an exclusive discount, and can you track my loyalty points,” Childs explained. “Those things seem to be pretty universal.

“Then you get into all these differences between apps that might make shopping more convenient, versus apps that might make it much more personal, versus apps that might further the way I can save.”

Child said she was able to compile her research into a “very interactive dashboard” that would allow app developers to focus on the preferences of these different shopper groups, based on 20 different app functions that were explored.

“You might want to look at just the folks that only buy online, and what kind of apps are they interested in,” for example, she explained. “The data has a lot of interactive possibility.”

Childs also was able to coordinate app preferences with purchasing behavior in terms of basket sizes, so that the data can match heavy buyers with the types of app functionality they prefer.